One of this years micro trends is the visible presence
of the zip.
In Autumn 2009 designers are appliquéing zipper tape onto fabric as
embellishment. Chunky teeth zippers are attached to
dresses and coats as a very
visible closure and a main focal point.
Left - Textured Brocade Coat worn with fur arm warmers. Coat
by Marni has a centre front zip - AW2009.
Right - Schouler Tweed Zipped Jacket - AW2009.
Just as the Boho stud was the prime hardware of the early
noughties, so now in the later noughties sees the developing
trend of the external zip as a fashion statement.
A well inserted invisible zip or a beautifully made rolled
invisible hem has always been a sign of great craftsmanship. Not since the
1960s have showy zips been so popular as focal points on
garments or accessories.
Top Tip - Accessorise with Hardware Elements
This zip corsage flower shown right, is typical of many fun accessories
this Autumn 2009, where
the elements of zipper twill tape and teeth are twisted into
roses, the brooch has no useful purpose other
than to cheekily amuse and decorate an otherwise ordinary
Accessorize Autumn/Winter 2009 - Admiral Navy Ziptastic Corsage
Zipper tape, artfully looped into ornamentation applied to
clothing or footwear as linear decoration, is another micro
trend worth tuning into.
Left - Mohair Yarn Cowl Neck Jumper £14, Zip Decorated Bubble
Hem Skirt £14, Black Leggings £5 all Matalan AW09 Women Catwalk.
The biker leather jacket below left uses studs as well
The dark denim Miss Selfridge coat dress in the centre features three zips, also
well defined focus shoulders as this is a major fashion trend
this season. The tweed knee coat has multi zips. You can see how
designers often use pocket closures as a showcase for their
Left - Dorothy Perkins AW 09 - Leather Studded Biker Jacket
Centre - Miss Selfridge Autumn/Winter 2009 Denim Zip Coat Dress.
Right - Black Winter Coat Marks & Spencer Autumn Winter 2009 -
Due in store November 2009.
The retailer called RARE have many cocktail short evening dresses with
ZIP front feature fastenings. These three dresses
are all using ruching as a construction method and each has the
front visible zips.
The RARE brand is distributed through 21 concession-based
outlets within Topshop, and recently developed a new luxury
capsule collection, Rare Opulence.
Above Left - Zip Front Peplum Dress Available in Purple & Gun
Metal - RARE AW09.
Centre - Red dress Zip Cap Sleeve Dress Available in Red & Navy
Right - Zip Front Dress Available in Gold & Black RARE AW09.
While all the 3 dresses right are black, they
show a variety of zipper fashion. The sheath
dress left is multi zippered. The central bustier dress has main
interest of patent belt and patent welt surrounds to zip hip
pockets. The mini dress shown right is most like a typical
sixties zippered dress with just a single central spotlight zip.
Left - Papaya Zip Detail Body Con Dress £19 - Matalan Womenswear
Centre - Andrew Gn Zip Bustier Dress - Harvey Nichols - AW2009.
Right - Black Zip Front Dress by Oasis.
sizes are also catered for with zip fashions. This hot pink coat
is from Evans and is sure to delight buxom girls who won't have
to worry about popping buttons at bust level!
big girl's nightmare is the gap caused at by
inadequate facing closure where buttons sit at bust level.
too often big girls have to sew an extra fastener in that
position. Enter zipper fashion to solve a costume
Left - Evans Hot Pink Sleek Zip Coat in Plus Sizes - £65 - Evans
Autumn Winter 2009.
Zippers are employed not only as a fastening closures on a bag,
but also as part of the visible decorative surface material of
Right - Moda in Pelle Autumn/Winter 2009 - Tiabag (multi) £60 -
Suede clutch bag with gold trim and purple detail.
Zips as decorative outer seam can now be regarded as protective guards at the sides of
handbags. Whilst this may protect the handbag leather, beware, such bags
can also ruin your delicate clothing and fabrics, so when you buy run
your finger over the zip edge.
Choose a zip
decorated bag with quality finishing. Use the silicone tip above
to ensure the zip teeth are smooth.
Longer gloves can be more difficult to put on, but are an
essential to fill the cold arm gap left with shorter and half
sleeve coats. Here zipper fashion has a practical use,
namely to keep your wrists warm.
Right - Zipper Gloves Barrientes from aldoshoes.com -
£35.00 Aldo Autumn/Winter 2009 - Accessories at Aldo.
Zipper fashion works particularly well with footwear because the zipper can
a very snug fit for the calf. The difference between these zipped
boots, and those of previous seasons, is that the zip is now very visible on the outside rather than
inside leg of the boot.
The boot on the left is from Boden, see how it makes a feature
of the zip by using a contrasting bright yellow zipper. The heel
is not overpoweringly high making them very wearable.
The sturdy biker boot next to them is a classic boot and is
ideal if your boot budget has to last several years. These boots
should cover many scenarios and you will get your value from
You can just make out from the picture that the zip in the zebra ankle boot
is in the centre, which ensures a close
and fast fit.
Animal print footwear is still very fashionable and the ankle
boot with the front zipper gives it an updated feel. The red trim is
possibly an homage to Louboutin red soles.
Above Left - Boden Heeled Boots With Yellow
Zipper - Autumn 2009/Winter 2010.
Above Centre - Dune Autumn Winter 2009 - Women’s Accessories
Rip B, £140/€195.
Above Right -
Selfridge Autumn/Winter 2009 Shoes - Zebra/Zip Ankle Boot.
Ribbon or tape appliqué is used to create surface
interest especially on dresses. Christopher
Kane (near right) and Rodarte (far right) used features which
employed tape, leather strip or ribbon appliqué looks.
manufacturers have created dress and coat versions using applied tape or
leather strips to
follow seam and construction lines.
Julien Macdonald Colour Block Day Dress £60/€93 -
It's not just zipper tape, but also twill and other tape or
ribbons that have been utilised in the decoration of garments in
Chanel style chain and ribbon, or leather thong threaded
handbag straps proliferate. Gold chain or silver chain straps on
handbags have made a welcome return being both feminine and easy
to carry without over bulking.
Vintage Chanel bags have been copied by all the major chain stores, and new
variations on the theme are still emerging.
Belts, both wide and narrow, still pull a look together whether you are
wearing, skirts, pants, cardigan, sweater or a dress.
Asymmetric belts, studded belts, studded suede bags, animal and
snake prints are major belt materials. Micro trends include
curtain rope cords with tassel ends used as belts. Some chain
belts also have dangling large charms or coins. Stud belts
continue to be popular.
This belt uses chain as a modern thong chain finishing touch.
Right - Chain Belt £30/€42 - NEXT Autumn Winter 2009 -
Even investment items can be enjoyable when teamed with edgy
accessories that make your wardrobe appear to have cheeky
Schiaparelli liked new things as well as new ideas. In 1933 she
promoted the fastener we call the zip or zipper. In the UK we are more
likely to refer to this fastener as a Zip and in the USA the term Zipper
is more usual.
The metal zip had been invented in the Victorian era as far
back as 1891 by W Litcomb Judson of Chicago USA. He
patented a clasp locker system of fastening constructed from a
series of hooks and eyes with a clasp lock for closing. By
1893 the zipper was in production. But it was clumsy as it
needed to be locked tooth by tooth. It was slow to catch
on until refinements were gradually introduced.
In 1913 a Swede developed Judson’s ideas in the USA, making a hook
less fastener with interlocking teeth. By 1917 it was somewhat
timidly used for tobacco pouches and shoes. B. G. Worth of
Goodrich and Co., gave those shoe zips the name zipper and it stuck.
In 1917 it was used for clothing when the U.S. Navy applied it to
Schiaparelli's use of the new plastic coloured zip in fashion clothes
was both decorative, functional and highly novel. Her 1930’s
designs were the first to use it as a major feature of fashion garments.
Even so most garments were still designed with button fastenings until
the 50s when improvements in zip manufacture were acknowledged. Zippers
soon became universally used and are now a very reliable form of
Plastic zippers were available in the 1930s, but made with individual
teeth moulded onto them in the exact same way as metal zippers were
constructed. Concealed zippers which are very fine were introduced
in 1958. In 1961 I can just recall my elder sister having a
beautifully made bought dress from a local boutique in the latest new
fabric "Crimplene". It was the height of luxury, with a concealed
zipper of such neat insertion it fascinated the whole family. The
dress cost her 7 guineas, about $30 at that time.
In 1963 EFLON woven zippers appeared and this is where some people
become confused with the later finer knitted tape zips, but with
continuous coil features of one single shaped monofilament.
Plastic coil zippers as we know them were first introduced in 1971.
The plastic coil is woven as part of the fabric of the tape with single
loops each making one tooth. Thermoplastic resins, specific
versions of the plastics Nylon and Polyester are both used today in zip
Now in 2009 Zipper fashion is back big time. But the visible
zipper in fashion is a very different item to the concealed zip.
The zipper decorating fashion clothing as a statement piece of
haberdashery is the very chunky gold or silver tooth zipper most
commonly used in jeans, heavyweight or industrial items.
Schiaparelli would be pleased to see zips used as in such a non
functional decorative manner to produce creative fashion.
Copyright of images courtesy of PrShots, IFTF, Swarovski,
NEXT, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge,
Dorothy Perkins, Debenhams,
Marks & Spencer, Harvey Nichols, Boden, Wallis, RARE, Oasis,
River Island, Matalan, Dune, Hobbs, Aldo, Moda in Pelle, Evans.
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